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Lightbox House

Located on the British Columbia side of the same peninsula that holds Point Roberts, the Lightbox House is a simple home and studio for a photographer and his family. Accessed via a boardwalk that bisects the home's pine tar-coated "dark" side, which holds the stairs, and the glass-covered "light" side, the house blends in well with the surrounding forest. By keeping the size manageable and using a system of exposed wood beams to support the prefab aluminum glazing system, the architects kept costs down while imbuing the home with a sense of simplicity appropriate for an owner who spends his time focused on fine details.

Photos: Nic Lehoux / Bohlin Cywinski Jackson

  • Dream Dive Platform

    Along the shores of Bob's Lake in Ontario sits the Dream Dive Platform. Conceived as a weekend project at a family cottage, this simple structure was designed to support two purposes: sleeping and swimming. It's built primarily from salvaged materials and is highly stripped down, with mesh providing protection from insects, a piece of waxed canvas that can be unrolled in wet weather, and a simple bed on the floor of the covered area.

    Photos: Studio North

  • Comano Villa

    Set on a hill overlooking Lake Lugano in Switzerland, the Comano Villa uses a vast expanse of second-floor glass to maximize the views. The main building is composed almost entirely of black-stained concrete, which was cased in rough-grained wooden boards to provide added texture. Wooden floors add a touch of warmth, both downstairs — where you'll find several bedrooms, baths, and a sitting area — and up. The latter holds the dining area, kitchen, living room, and master bedroom, all connected by a lake-facing terrace that runs the length of the dwelling.

    Photos: Alessandro Crinari / Attilio Panzeri & Partners

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